Denis Matsuev

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Concert review: Brilliant lineup of Prokofiev's best works by London Symphony Orchestra

Denis Matsuev plays with bravura, and the concerto provided an ideal vehicle to show off pianistic ability. He excelled in the percussive and dramatic passages, and was no less convincing in lyrical sections, and totally revelled in the glissandos. As much as he was dazzling in his control and massive dynamics, a fully satisfying performance of the concerto calls for greater regard for the splashes of irony, levity and delicacy to be found in the writing.

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First reviews on Denis Matsuev's concert in Barbican Hall. London Evening Standard

The highlight, though, was Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto. This is not for the faint-hearted pianist; it demands muscular dexterity and an ability to deliver, not only a quality of ardent longing but also something of the cocktail lounge. Matsuev responded with thrilling virtuosity, his fingerwork faultless, his rhythmic drive flexible and imposing.

Nick Kimberley

London Evening Standard


Reviews on American Tour of Denis Matsuev

Pianist Denis Matsuev’s power overwhelms

Even in today’s overrun piano virtuoso market, Denis Matsuev stands out. On the evidence of his recordings, he possesses an epic technique, playing with seemingly superhuman speed, power, and agility.

At his Saturday recital in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, it was pleasant to discover that Matsuev can also produce the kind of singing tone and silvery pianissimo most pianists only dream about.

In his curtain-raiser, Matsuev responded with grace and swagger to the impish brilliance of Haydn’s Sonata in E-flat major, Hob. XVI: 52. The masterly second movement showed Matsuev at something like his best, demonstrating suave phrasing and extraordinary tonal refinement.

Boston Globe

Seth Herbst 


Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2/Denis Matsuev, piano/Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev

I was anticipating a huge, monstrously bombastic performance of the First Concerto under the fingers of the powerful and technically phenomenal Matsuev, and he did not disappoint in that regard. 

Few pianists would seem to be more adept at the sometimes quite un-pianistic writing that the 34-year-old non-pianist Tchaikovsky would create, pouring his heart into the work only to have it shot down by the original dedicatee, the oft-times thuggish Nicolai Rubinstein, who called it “worthless and unplayable”. 

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Review: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2/Denis Matsuev, piano/Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev

This Mariinsky CD includes Concertos 1 and 2. The Concerto No. 1, not too popular at the first performance, has become the benchmark for today’s virtuoso display. I recently heard it live with Bronfman and Dudamel in Los Angeles; it never loses its appeal. Matsuev manages much of Bronfman’s power, but under the critical ear of the microphone, his technique is flawless and Gergiev accompanies beautifully. Only one flat horn phrase in the 2nd Concerto suggests that the Mariinsky Orchestra is almost the completed project. As such, it fares better than some of the recent Shostakovich Symphonies — same conductor, recording company, and hall.

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Review by of a new disc "Tchaikovsky. Piano Concertos 1&2 - Matsuev, Gergiev (Mariinsky label)

The Russian pianist Denis Matsuev has already shown his dazzling virtuosity on record in works by Shostakovich, Shchedrin, Rachmaninov and others. On this new generously filled (78'32”) SACD from the Mariinsky label he performs both of Tchaikovsky's completed Piano Concertos accompanied by Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra.

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La Orquesta del Royal Concertgebouw en el Teatro Colón : Matices sinfónicos

La Rapsodia sobre un tema de Paganini (1934) de Sergei Rachmaninov fue la obra común a los dos programas presentados este año, que permitió por un lado conocer al brillante pianista ruso Denis Matsuev, pero también volver a percibir que la concentración de cada atril, la perfecta afinación y el justo equilibrio sonoro siguen siendo una marca distintiva de la orquesta holandesa. 


Denis Matsuev in New York

Denis Matsuev, an extraordinary pianist, offers, as part of the 140th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Rachmaninoff an album that confronts the Concerto No. 2 with the Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin. A confrontation at first somewhat unexpected between the romanticism of the Russian and the American jazz rhythm. Yet these two composers are closely related to New York City where this album was recorded in collaboration with the orchestra of this city, under the baton of Music Director Alan Gilbert.


Rachmaninov à Moscou avec Denis Matsuev

A l’occasion des 140 ans de la naissance de Rachmaninov, la philharmonie de Moscou, l’orchestre symphonique d’Etat de Moscou et la salle Tchaïkovski offraient au public, deux soirées de prestige : Denis Matsuev, la grande star russe du piano, était dirigé par Leonard Slatkin dans des programmes évidement consacrés au grand compositeur. C’était également l’occasion pour Matsuev de présenter son dernier disque, naturellement consacré à Rachmaninov et à son Concerto n°2.


Adulé du public moscovite qui lui réserve un accueil des plus enthousiastes avant de le couvrir de fleurs, Denis Matsuev osait affronter, sur un même concert, les deux concertos de Rachmaninov les plus célèbres : les Concertos n°2 et n°3, sorte de soirée orgiaque à laquelle peu de pianistes oseraient se confronter. Bien évidement Mastuev combine la technique et la puissance digitale pour transcender ces deux partitions. Pourtant, le pianiste peine un peu à entrer dans le Concerto n°2. En dépit d’une aisance et d’une dynamique toujours phénoménales, Matsuev semble un peu sur la réserve, quant à Leonard Slatkin, il impose un accompagnement attentif et assez souple, en dépit d’une salle à l’acoustique très généreuse, qui fait étinceler la masse orchestrale. Changement d’ambiance avec un Concerto n°3 porté par une électricité  indubitable.  Soliste et chef font bloc pour imposer une lecture échevelée du concerto, transcendé par des musiciens touchés par la magie des très grands soirs. La force dramatique traverse cette interprétation qui prend place dans la droite ligne des lectures des grandes figures légendaires du piano.